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If you are a singer, you might be aware of the effect of the “morning voice” in singers. You might be aware of it if you use your voice a lot for speaking at your job too.
Morning voice is that feeling in the morning when you try to speak or sing and you notice that your voice is croaky or raspy. Using your voice is harder and it seems like it takes a good while to get it ready. If you do an activity like singing, which requires a bit more work from the body than speaking, you are going to find that the morning voice in singers is more noticeable.
As with most problems, there are things we can do to minimize the effects of it and make more productive and healthy use of our voice from early on in the day!
There are different reasons why your voice is not at its best in the morning.
To start with, your whole body has a lower-body tone when you just wake up.
Remember that your whole body participates in the process of singing. Also, part of your vocal cords is muscle tissue. So as with other muscles, you need to warm it up properly before using it.
Other reasons cause morning voice in singers that you can control a bit more.
If there is anything that most singing teachers agree with it is that you need proper rest for your voice to function properly. If you are tired, your body will have to work harder to produce sound and you are going to feel it.
It is also a well-known fact that singers are prone to acid reflux. The morning voice in singers has a stronger effect on acid reflux sufferers.
Acid reflux happens when stomach acid goes back into the esophagus. This is caused by various reasons. Some of those reasons are:
Your vocal cords need optimal hydration levels to function well.
If you just took a coffee in the morning before using your voice, your voice will probably be dehydrated and the morning voice in singers will be more evident.
First of all, make sure your voice is in a good condition to start singing. Make sure that, if you vocalize or sing in the morning, you drink a glass of water beforehand. It takes about 20 minutes for the hydration from the water to get to your vocal cords, so don’t just drink water while you are vocalizing because it won’t be helpful.
Also, having a good voice in the morning includes waking up your body tone. Generally, our body tone is lower in the morning, and so we need to do some exercises to lift it and get it ready to sing.
Yoga, going for a walk or a run, or even walking on the spot for 5 minutes will help you. Make sure you awake the big muscle group, especially your legs.
It will help you get your voice ready to wake up, plus it will make you more energized in general!
Also, make sure that you leave a generous gap of time between your breakfast and your first warm-up. Two hours is ideal, but if it is not possible, at least one hour is recommended.
The physical space where you warm up your voice is very important. Please don’t warm up in the car! It won’t do much more than harming your voice. I know that it is tempting to sing in the car to save time, but really when you drive your system is in alert mode (even if you think you are relaxed). You have to be in alert mode because there are hazards all around you. When your system is in alert mode, it is not a good moment to sing. Your breathing will be affected, also the air pressure that you send to sing, and as a result, all your vocal system will work more forcefully. Which will reinforce bad habits that we work very hard to get rid of when we train to be singers!
Make sure that you find a calmer space, where you can concentrate on feeling your voice and your body, and in perceiving what your voice needs right now rather than in avoiding a crash.
Your voice muscles, as with other muscles that you choose to exercise, need some warm-up before you can use them safely.
So, you have gone for a power walk, you drank your water, you have been awake for a couple of hours, now you are in the best moment to give your voice a proper warm-up.
The best way to warm up the voice is through music scales that gradually take your voice up and down. A warm-up is not a technical workout or a repertoire workout. Therefore warm-ups are designed to get your voice ready for songs or technical work, and not an acrobatic exercise itself.
Start in a comfortable range of voice and slowly go up and down. Depending on your current level, you might want to use different scales: slides, arpeggios, 5 tone scale, 1.5 scale, etc.
Some exercises are amazing to balance your voice muscles safely. You might have heard of the exercises of semi-occlusion. The famous lip trills, straw exercise, etc.
These types of exercises work by providing a resistance to the voice so that sound energy comes back to your vocal cords. This helps your pitch muscles work in balance, and it also balances the supraglottic and subglottic pressure, helping you get a safe, gentle and effective exercise. Your voice will thank you for it!
Once you have done some minutes of that, you can sing some scales with an “ooh” sound, which is also a gentle sound for your voice
Ready to take your voice to the next level? Join us for high quality – holistic singing training in Auckland, NZ (North Shore area), or ONLINE – from wherever you are in the world!
We have options to suit!
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